The Powerful Delusion


The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thes. 2:9-12)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's mystical pre-occupation with the coming of a Shiite Islamic messiah figure – the Mahdi (divinely guided one) – is raising concerns that a nuclear-armed Iran could trigger the kind of global conflagration he believes will be necessary to set the stage for the Mahdi's return.

The Mahdi is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the year 941 AD, at the age of five. In other words he vanished, literally.  Shiite Moslems believe he will reappear at the end of the Age.  This reappearance will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.

This is obviously similar to Christian eschatology. Indeed, the Hidden Imam, as he's also called, is expected to return in the company of Jesus.  Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect believes the Mahdi will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims to have communicated with him.

Mr. Ahmadinejad believes that his main mission, as he recounted in a Nov. 16 speech in Tehran, is to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance." Some people working closely with Ahmadinejad believe this could happen within the next two years.

Portions of the above were excerpted from recent World Net Daily and UK Telegraph articles and give us a glimpse into the motivation underlying Iran's current hard line. But there's more.

"Signs and wonders" lie behind this messianic fervor.  Listen as Ahmadinejad himself explains what happened during his recent speech at the UN. He recounts how he found himself bathed in light throughout the speech. But this wasn't the light directed at the podium by the U.N. and television cameras. It was, he said, a light from heaven.

 "On the last day when I was speaking, one of our group told me that when I started to say 'Bismillah Muhammad,' he saw a green light come from around me, and I was placed inside this aura," he says. "I felt it myself. I felt that the atmosphere suddenly changed, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink. When I say they didn't move an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating. They were looking as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes – Alhamdulillah!"

"Ahmadinejad's "vision" at the U.N. is strangely reminiscent and alarmingly similar to other statements he has made about his personal role in ushering in the return of the Shiite Muslim messiah," the reports conclude. 

He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. (Daniel 9:27)

The Prophet Daniel spoke of a seven-year rule by one who brings about Earth's final judgment over 1000 years before Mohammed fashioned the religion we know as Islam. And as is the case with Shiite beliefs, Daniel's ruler apparently arrives on the heels of a great battle between the forces of good and evil as well.  How else would he be able to use the promise of peace to deceive the world? (Daniel 8:25)

According to Revelation 13, this ruler and his false prophet force the world into a common religion, killing all who resist. Shiites agree, insisting the religion will be Islam, and that in the process all the Jews and Romans (Christians) will be put to death.

Good News And Bad News

The prophecies are similar to the point of being scary.  In fact the only discernable difference lies in one fact.  Whereas Daniel and other Biblical figures who prophesied of this coming ruler viewed him as the ultimate expression of evil, indwelt by Satan himself, Shiites see him as a force for good, ushering in a glorious age of worldwide Islamic rule.

This difference is the sprouting seed of the powerful delusion Paul spoke of in 2 Thes. 2:11. He said that during that last seven years the world will experience a total reversal of perception from that of its Judeo-Christian past.  Consider these two passages from the Revelation as confirmation.

Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"(Rev. 13:4) The dragon is Satan and the beast is the anti-Christ.

Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. (Rev 16:10-11)

As they clearly show, the End Times world will worship Satan and curse God.  This reversal of perception is the product of a heresy called the Luciferian Doctrine.  Simply put it holds that Lucifer, the angel of light (in Latin, Lucifer means light bearer) is desperately trying to bring mankind through his final phase of evolution, the spiritual phase, into the Utopia he longs for, but is being thwarted in his efforts by the evil Adonay (from the Hebrew Adonai, which means Lord) who wants to destroy man. As you can see, it's the exact opposite of the truth.

This doctrine will permeate the One World religion of Daniel's 70th Week. Because of the dramatic manifestations of supernatural signs and wonders during that time, the last vestiges of the godless secular humanism will finally die.  Satan, who during our age has been content with giving anyone but God credit for the Creation of Earth and Man, will begin demanding credit for himself.  And having refused to love the truth, man, who needs to believe in someone greater than himself, will be fair game for this lie.

The Luciferian Doctrine explains the difference between Shiite eschatology and Bible Prophecy.  The god of Islam is not the God of the Bible, after all, and besides man, there's only one other created being who aspires to be God.

"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD." (Amos 8:11) The man who doesn't stand for something will fall for anything, the saying goes, so after the church disappears and the famine of God's word prophesied by Amos takes hold, there'll be a real longing for something to believe in on Earth.  The Luciferian Doctrine will fit the bill nicely, especially when its two leading proponents, the anti-Christ and the False Prophet, will seem to have such supernatural power.

Mahmoud The Zealot

The introduction of religious zeal, counterfeit though it may be, into world events is the most dramatic proof since 1948 of the nearness of the end.  In the final days of Communism, when folks thought Gorbachev was the anti-Christ, they overlooked the absence of this critical component.  Coming from the perspective of the Modern Rationalism of the 50's, where God wasn't very real anymore, the godless Soviet enemy seemed sufficient to fulfill prophecy.  And yet, the Bible speaks of powerful spiritual contention at the end. After all the final battle is fought and won in the spiritual realm.  It just takes place on Earth.  It's clear that the end of the age has to include intense, conflicting, spiritual components. 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a religious zealot of the first magnitude. By his statements, it's clear that he believes his Mahdi is coming soon, and that he has been chosen to have his country ready to receive him.  An old Islamic saying goes, "When the students are ready, the teacher will come."  And he himself recently declared, "We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world." A man with that kind of zeal, given the kind of power he has, will not hesitate to plunge the world into chaos to hasten the day of his lord.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. (2 Thes 2:7) But remember this, dear friends.  Before the powerful delusion can truly take hold, the truth has to disappear.  The repository for truth in this age is the church, so when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28) If you listen closely, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.  2-5-06